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Ultra high frequency ultrasound aids non-invasive investigation of skin disorders

Researchers at the Italian National Research Council and the University of Pisa, Italy, are set to transform research into skin disorders, performing in vivo histological examination with the aid of FUJIFILM VisualSonics’ Vevo® MD ultra high frequency ultrasound system.

The Vevo MD is the world’s first CE-marked, ultra high frequency ultrasound imaging system – up to 70 MHz – for clinical use, and plays a key role in research studies at the university. Dr Francesco Faita, a researcher and project manager at the Institute of Clinical Physiology of the National Research Council (IFC-CNR), explained: “The Vevo MD allows us to observe specific areas of the human anatomy in real time, in a way that has not previously been possible using ultrasound technology. It has the potential to provide non-invasive, non-ionizing histological examination in vivo, which may be helpful for the diagnostic procedures.”

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Dr Valentina Dini, a researcher and clinical project leader at the university’s Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine – where the first study is taking place – continued: “The study will investigate the use of the Vevo MD to distinguish between psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, as well as monitoring the response to treatment. By comparing ultrasound imaging with histopathological evaluation, we aim to demonstrate that ultra high frequency ultrasound can support – or even replace – invasive tests such as skin biopsies.”

The Vevo MD has also captured the interest of many other members of the local scientific community using imaging technologies, who are keen to explore its potential for other applications. Professor Davide Caramella, Head of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at the university, commented: “From the outset, it was clear that there are many other clinical areas – for example, neonatology, vascular and rheumatology – where the Vevo MD could prove beneficial, enabling high resolution imaging of surface structures, nerves and microcirculation.”